Canelo cools talk of Saunders ahead of fight with Yildirim

‘This fight is the only one that exists for me’: Canelo Alvarez cools talk of a future showdown with Billy Joe Saunders as he insists ‘I’m focused on what I have to do’ ahead of fight with Avni Yildirim in Miami

  • Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez said the only fight that exists now is against Avni Yildirim
  • The Mexican was dampening talk of a future fight with Brit Billy Joe Saunders 
  • Alvarez said he is taking things ‘fight-by-fight’ and is focused on beating Yildirim 

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is adamant that he is focused on taking down Avni Yildirim on Saturday as talk continues of a potential future bout against Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders. 

The Mexican takes on Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida as the mandatory challenger, with speculation rife that should Canelo win – as is widely expected – then a fight with Saunders is next. 

But speaking at the press conference ahead of the fight, Canelo insisted that he was thinking solely about the challenge Yildirim poses at the weekend. 

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (left) insists he is focused on Avni Yildirim (right), not Billy Joe Saunders

‘I respect all fighters,’ he said. I respect the challenger that’s in front of me right now. I know he’s a strong fighter. 

‘I know he has a lot of tools. I have the same mentality. I’m trying to do my job, and I’m trying to make history.  

‘I love being here. I love being in the gym. It’s my life. We’re going to take these fights fight-by-fight, and hopefully I can fight four times this year.

‘I’m focused on my rival Saturday. I know right now, this fight is the only one that exists for me, and I’m focused on what I have to do, my job for Saturday.’ 

Rumours are rife that Canelo and Saunders (pictured) will fight each other later this year

Boxing fans have been clamouring for a showdown between Canelo and Saunders for years, with a bout proposed for last year cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Reports have suggested a fight between the two has been pencilled in for May this year, after Saunders rejected a date last September claiming he could not train adequately for it.  

Canelo currently holds the WBA and WBC super middleweight belts, while Saunders holds the WBO title. 

With both fighters signed to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, the likelihood of a fight being agreed is relatively high provided Canelo beats Yildirim.

The Mexican and Saunders are widely regarded as the best in their division, with Canelo having lost just one of 54 fights – and that to the legendary Floyd Mayweather – while Saunders is unbeaten in 30 bouts.  

Alvarez said the Yildrim fight is ‘the only one that exists’, adding he wants four fights this year

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